Archives for category: Appetizer


This is another steamed, savory egg custard dish, this time from China, and it is called a “meat cake.” I used Stephen Wong’s recipe from, which is based on his book, HeartSmart Chinese Cooking.

20140503-162835.jpgImages of some ingredients used

20140503-162845.jpgSome images of the preparation


Some helpful notes:
1. Please use medium heat, not medium high, when steaming. I found it to be better.
2. If you want to use ground chicken or turkey, please add another 1/2-1 teaspoon of oil into the meat mixture, as chicken and turkey is leaner.  This will help to make the cooked meat mixture less dry.
3. You can use the meat mixture to make wontons. Simply wrap them in wonton skins.
4. The recipe below has a variation using egg whites, rather than whole eggs, for a healthier version of the dish.

Please visit Stephen Wong’s recipe at on Chinese Food.

20140501-000357.jpgCocotte Eggs with Creamed Mushrooms
(Recipe by Jacques Pépin)
Serves 4

2 tablespoons chopped shallot
1 tablespoon olive oil
1-1/2 cups julienned white mushrooms
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon cognac
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons grated Gruyère cheese
4 eggs
Toasted bread, cut in lengths (as “fingers” for dipping)

1. Place chopped shallots and oil in a pan over high heat to sweat for about 30 seconds.
2. Add mushrooms, salt, and pepper.  Stir together until the mushrooms soften.
3. Mix in the cognac. (Raynal is the best of the cheapest Cognac to cook with, per my research).
4. Mix in the cream and bring to a boil.  Allow the cream and mushrooms to reduce for 2-4 minutes.
5. Spoon the creamed mushrooms into four small ramekins.

20140501-000121.jpg6. Sprinkle the Gruyère cheese on top.
7. Break an egg into each ramekin.
8. Boil the water in your steamer, and turn down the heat to medium.
9. Steam the ramekins, uncovered, for 7-8 minutes.  (You want the eggs to set, but remain runny)
10. Serve with toasted bread fingers.


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20140427-125000.jpgChawanmushi is a Japanese savory, steamed egg custard dish.  It is named for the way it is steamed in a tea cup.

You mix beaten egg with broth or stock, as well as other ingredients like meat (chicken works well), seafood, herbs, and mushrooms, to steam and then enjoy.

Ingredients for today’s recipe:
Broth or Stock (1 cup per 2 eggs)
Shrimp (peeled, de-veined, and sliced in half lengthwise)
Mushrooms (quartered or sliced)

1. Beat the eggs, until well incorporated. (2 eggs per 1 cup of broth)

2. Measure the amount of broth you need (1 cup per 2 eggs used), and mix into the beaten egg. (The broth will season your egg, so be careful with the sodium).

3. In a ramekin, glass dish, or foil pan, arrange your mushroom and shrimp.  (When you incorporate your liquid, the ingredients will swim and rearrange themselves.)

20140427-130519.jpg4. Using a strainer or a fine sieve, slowly ladle the egg and broth mixture through it into your ramekin, glass dish, or foil pan. (Doing so will minimize the amount of air bubbles, which will make pock marks on the top after steaming.)

5. Cover the ramekin, glass dish, or foil pan with clear plastic wrap or foil.

6. Boil the water in your steamer.  Turn it down to medium heat after it boils.

7. Steam your chawanmushi until the middle is set.  (For the small ramekins, I check at around 8 minutes.  It may be done within 10 minutes.  The cooking or steaming time depends on the material of your dish (foil, ceramic, glass, etc) and the size of it.

8. Set it aside to cool a little, and then enjoy!


20140412-194409.jpgPokē, Yum! What’s even better? When it is made with hamachi (yellowtail), and it is homemade!  Once you read this post, you may wonder why you pay a lot of money to eat this, when it is so easy to make on your own (and cheaper too).

Sashimi grade fish (Tuna, Yellowtail, or any fish you like to eat raw)
Hawaiian pink sea salt (any sea salt will do)
Green onions
Sesame oil
Japanese or Hawaiian soy sauce
Fish roe for extra texture (optional) – I used Yuzu (Japanese citron) infused flying fish roe. (Salmon (Ikura) roe works very well too)
Ogo seaweed (optional) – This may only be available dried. You would need to soak it. The market had this already rehydrated on hand. This gives a salty and crunchy texture.
Sweet white onions(optional) – I didn’t use it in this recipe, but when choosing sweet onions, taste it first. Sometimes raw onion (even sweet ones) can still be very strong and may overpower the fish.

1. Cut your fish into cubes and place in a bowl or dish. (If I was having a formal dinner party, I would remove the bloodline. There is a stronger mineral taste to the bloodline, but in pokē, it’s okay, because it will be dressed.
2. Slice the green onions, and add to your fish. For the amount of fish I used, I used about 3 green onions.
3. Season with a pinch of sea salt to taste. The larger the grain of the salt, the added “crunch. You could grind the sea salt. If you do not have or like soy sauce, you can add a little more salt.
4. Mix in any optional ingredients you want (ogo, fish roe, sweet onions, etc.)
20140412-194431.jpg5. Add soy sauce to taste. A little goes a long way. You just need it for taste. (I would do one teaspoon at a time, depending on the amount of ingredients you have.)
6. Add sesame oil, enough to lightly coat all the ingredients. (I would do one teaspoon at a time, depending on the amount of ingredients you have.)
7. Mix and serve atop a mixed green salad or steamed rice, or just enjoy by itself.

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